Last week we gathered in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland for our second General Assembly, one year after our kickoff in Cork, Ireland! Members from each of our 21 partner organisations met together at Hafrannsóknastofnun, the Marine and Freshwater Institute of Iceland, for three days of productive discussions on the research we have accomplished so far and tasks yet to come.
The driving force of our first year has been stakeholder engagement in our three ‘demonstration areas’: Macaronesia, the Arctic-Northeast Atlantic, and the Tuscan Archipelago. As a project, Marine SABRES is explicitly designed with the input from the community at its core, rather than using a top-down approach. By inviting stakeholders into the decision-making process, we ensure that their opinions and perspectives are central to the work being conducted and inform our outputs.
Learn more about the stakeholder engagement we’ve conducted so far in the following article: Co-creating Better Marine Management: Stakeholder Engagement in Marine SABRES.
Within each demonstration area, Marine SABRES research focuses specifically on a local issue. In Macaronesia, our research is centred around biodiversity restoration and the benefits of ecotourism, while in the Tuscan Archipelago, our work examines the impacts of tourism on seagrass meadows.
At Hafrannsóknastofnun, we heard insights from our partners in the Arctic-Northeast Atlantic area on shared management challenges for the fishing industry in Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands, where overfishing is dangerously high and the ranges of important fish stocks such as herring, mackerel, and blue whiting are shifting due to climate change.
We were also fortunate to hear talks from two stakeholders in this demonstration area, Lísa Anne Libungan of Fisheries Iceland, and Thor Sigfusson from Iceland Ocean Cluster (pictured below). We were fortunate to receive a tour from Thor of the Ocean Cluster House, a unique space in Reykjavik for entrepreneurs and businesses in marine industries.
We concluded the assembly by looking forward to year two, in which we will deliver exciting outputs like videos, blue economy fairs, and even a game competition!
We look forward to updating you on our progress as we identify opportunities to better implement ecosystem-based management and develop pathways to transformation for a biodiverse & sustainable future!
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